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Elon Musk Announces New Tunnel Borer

Monday, March 4, 2019

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Boring Company founder and billionaire Elon Musk announced on Twitter early last week that the company’s next-generation tunnel borer, Line-Storm, could be active within the next month or shortly after.

According to Inverse, these new machines are part of Musk’s plan to lessen the cost of tunneling for city transportation projects. The company’s 1.14-mile tunnel, located in Hawthorne, California, was built for roughly $10 million, roughly 10 times cheaper than traditional tunnel construction.

Boring Company Tunnel Borer

During construction of the company’s first tunnel, the Godot borer, the name a reference to the play, Waiting for Godot, raced against a snail named Gary, given that snails can move up to 14 times faster than standard tunnel digging machines. In keeping with the literary theme, Line-Storm, was named for Robert Frost’s poem, “A Line-Storm Song." There are also plans for Prufrock, named for the T.S. Eliot poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which would also launch this year.

Musk noted that in the development of these additional borers, focus remains on moving at higher speeds and tightening follow distances in the test tunnel. Currently, machines can only dig around 10 minutes per hour.

The company also hopes to develop machines with modified cutters as well as automated segment erection; the machines would also receive triple the power. According to Teslarati, the Line-Storm borer will be a hybrid machine, including components from traditional alternatives and custom hardware designed by the company. As a result of these changes, Line-Storm is slated to be twice as fast as Godot.


Tagged categories: Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Tunnel

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